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‘MDGs won’t be met for lack of political will’


Zimbabwe will not meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 due to lack of political will and commitment, a senior United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) official has said.

In an interview on the sidelines of a one-day 2010 MDGs status report on Zimbabwe at a local hotel here, the UNDP lead programme specialist on poverty reduction and HIV and Aids in the mainstreaming unit, Lisa Orrenius, said the country was failing to “walk its talk” yet time was fast ticking away.

“The country cannot meet all the MDGs. But with more effort, maybe it can meet some of the targets in each goal like when it comes to reducing hunger, education for all and combating HIV and Aids.

“Zimbabwe may come closer to meeting them, but still will not make it when the deadline (2015) is fast approaching,” she said.

“It is now time to walk the talk. Political will is needed if the country is to achieve the set targets. In the past few years, there has been reversal of some progress that had been made, hence the need for acceleration plans.

“There is need for continued political stability and effective government. The country should reinforce and re-establish partners for regional and global integration. Partnerships are absolutely fundamental.”

MDG goal 8 – developing global partnerships for development – was a Herculean task for government, which in the past had withdrawn from regional bodies like the Commonwealth, noted Orrenius.

“Goal number eight is more difficult for Zimbabwe. But it will determine all other MDGs as with effective bilateral relations, the country can get support,” she said.

Speaking at the same workshop, Portia Manangazira, a director in the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, said several challenges still existed in the health sector following the crumbling of service at the height of the country’s economic meltdown in 2007-8.

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